One of the biggest challenges couples face is creating their wedding guest list. Each side may have their own ideas of who they would like to invite and how big the wedding could or should be. It’s a good idea to have an open discussion with your fiancé and parents on both sides, in the early planning phases – even if you are planning to pay for the wedding yourselves.
1. Be realistic – your budget and venue size are two main concerns. Each guest will cost you – meal, favor, linens, chair covers, etc.
2. Don’t get caught up in having to stick to a 50/50 split – some families are larger than others and thus will have more people to add to the list. At the end of the day, you and your fiancé are creating a new family dynamic. I personally love the new approach of ‘Choose a seat, not a side. We’re all family once the knot is tied!’
3. Consider how close you are - have you spoken to or met up with the intended guest in the past two years? If not, is there a compelling reason to invite them?
4. Don’t be guilted into including someone you really don’t know that well or want to be there. Chances are, if you aren’t comfortable, neither are they…related or not.
5. Make your primary list and then have a back-up list in case you have many people who cannot attend. Substituting with friends and family who aren’t as close but whom you would still like to share your day is completely acceptable – remember you are working with a budget.
6. Send out Save the Date cards at least six months ahead of time – especially if you are planning a holiday time wedding i.e. Thanksgiving, Canada Day, etc. or if you have out-of-town guests on your list.
7. Include the names of your invited guests on their response cards – avoids confusion as to who exactly is being invited. i.e. not inviting children under a certain age.
8. If you have an engagement party, be prepared to invite everyone who is invited to the engagement party to your wedding ceremony and reception – etiquette.
9. Send out official invitations six weeks before your wedding date to give guests time to respond and time for you to send out a second round of invitations if you need or want to.
1. Remember, this is your wedding day, you want to surround yourself with family and friends who will support you in your life together. Your ‘dream’ guest list will be a reflection of the two of you and those you hold close to your hearts – whether that be 20 or 200.
Stress-free Planning the KRE way!